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African Immigration: Reference Resources

Some tips for searching legal information about immigration.

Searching resources

Library resources include both print and electronic books and journals as well as databases. Librarians select and purchase these materials to serve students and faculty. Most library resources are not available for free online, but are free for students to use. You find library resources by searching the catalog

Internet resources include everything you find on Google. The internet contains millions of webpages and videos created by people, companies, and institutions around the world. Using the internet requires the skill sto find what you need and to determine reliability and quality. 

Library Legal Resources

Lexis Nexus is a database containing news and legal information. Like all databases, you can search is using the available search box, and other tools on the page. UMass, Lowell has a handy tutorial for using Lexis Nexus. 

Landmark Cases About Immigration

A Landmark case is one that creates far-reaching change in the legal system. Below are links to come resources that discuss landmark cases about immigration. 

Cornell University's Legal Information Institute 

FindLaw--a commercial website. Not all resources may be free of charge. 

Worcester Law Library

The Worcester Law Library, located at 148 Main Street, is open to everybody. They have some resources and expertise that WSU library does not. 

Online Legal Resources

Both the Massachusetts state government and legislature host webpages with valuable legal information. The WSU library Criminal Justice LibGuide includes the resources below as well as a number of others. 

Massachusetts laws about immigration 

Massachusetts Legislature 

Citing a Case

  • Court that issued the decision
  • Report title
  • Volume number
  • Page, section, or paragraph number
  • Publication year

For example

Lunn v. Commonwealth, 477 Mass. 517 (2017)

  • Lunn v. Commonwealth is the abbreviated name of the case. Generally, the first name (here, Lunn) is the  of the plaintiff who is the party who filed the suit, and the second name (here, Commonwealth) is the surname of the defendant the party responding to the suit—in this case, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • 477 is the volume number of the reporter --the printed book of court opinions--that reported the Court's written opinion in the case titled Lunn v. Commonwealth.
  • Mass. is the abbreviation of the reporter. 
  • 517 is the page number where the opinion begins.
  • 2017 is the year when the court rendered its decision.

A more detailed guide is available through Walsh University.